2023 challenges

2023 Challenges: Q1 Update


“Change the challenge update posts to quarterly”, she said. “You’ll have more done and more to update on”, she reasoned. She was wrong. I have really been trying to power through the challenges, and I am somewhat more confident that Q2 will be more successful, but for now let’s ruminate on Q1 (that’s up to the end of March, duh… not April as I kept telling myself).

Watch 25 anime

Erm… So the beginning of the year was not good for anime. I finished one series; Chainsaw Man, and I watched most of that in 2022. I started a lot of seasonal shows as I told myself I could manage it and *SPOILER*, I couldn’t. I’m definitely built for binging shows rather than watching weekly, but I do like being part of the hype so it’s a catch 22.

Watch 25 anime movies

Really slacking on this one – I watched Stranger By The Shore, and that’s it so far. A lot of work needed. On the plus side, I really loved it.

Watch 30 films

I’ve managed to tick off a few films this year; Hercules, Look Both Ways, and Always Be My Maybe. I really thought I was going to like Hercules as I love Greek mythology and I loved the animated TV show as a kid, but I really didn’t like it. I found it really underwhelming and not memorable at all. The other two were pretty standard rom-com fare, both fine but nothing I’d write home about!

Clear 15 games from the PlayStation backlog

I’ve finished a few games, but none of them were on my backlog. I’m fortunate enough to have gotten a lot of reviewing opportunities this year so all my free ‘gaming time’ has been focused on those. I’m back to the matter in hand now though!

Clear 12 games from the Switch backlog

I haven’t managed to play any Switch games so far this year. Shameful.

Get 12 platinum trophies

I didn’t manage to get any platinum trophies in the first part of the year, but I did a lot of legwork in getting the Octopath Traveler 2 platinum, which I’ll be so pleased to get. It’s an amazing game and takes quite a bit of work, so I really hope I can get it. I’m at a bit of a roadblock with it now so I’m taking a break from it because I don’t want to end up hating the game, so hopefully next update I’ll have done it!

Read 20 manga series

I’ve read 2 manga; My Summer of You, and My Broken Mariko. Both very different but I enjoyed both! I’ve had the first three volumes of Banana Fish sitting on my bedside table ready to go, but I can’t bring myself to start it yet.

Read 12 books

3 books read by the end of March, so that’s bang on track. I firstly read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and had my heart broken into a thousand pieces, and then I needed something fairly easy-going so I started The Paper Magician series by Charlie N. Holmberg, and finished the first two books in the series, with the third ready to go now!

Here’s to a better Q2!

Game Reviews, Games

Review: Sherlock Holmes The Awakened


A total remake of its 2007 game of the same name, developer Frogwares has embarked on a complete overhaul of Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened. This Lovecraftian adventure sees Sherlock investigating a series of disappearances that ultimately end up linked into the Cthulhu Mythos.

The Awakened opens with a pretty low stakes case to solve: where is Sherlock’s newspaper, and why has it gone missing? This acts as a tutorial for the mechanics of the game, many of which are expected for a detective game; presenting evidence, questioning suspects and witnesses, and investigating the crime scene. The game also adds some interesting, almost otherworldly, elements, meant to represent Sherlock’s aptitude for crime scene investigation and detective work. Pressing R1 activates ‘Concentration’, which allows Sherlock to see things that aren’t visible to the less initiated.


Read my full review at Push Square. 

Game Reviews, Games

Review: Tchia


Developer Awaceb created Tchia as a love letter to its native home of New Caledonia. Though the game itself is set on a fantastical archipelago, it draws deeply from its real-life counterpart in terms of environment and story. It feels really genuine as a snapshot of the culture; its story is heavily rooted in the territory’s folklore, and some of the cast and crew are also New Caledonian natives. From members of the dev team, to the voice actors and the soundtrack composers, this game is as authentically New Caledonian as it’s possible to be.


Read my full review at Push Square.

Game Reviews, Games

Review: Octopath Traveler 2


Square Enix’s 2018 hit Octopath Traveler sold over 3 million copies worldwide, but never made it to PlayStation. Now, the series heads to PS5 and PS4 for the first time with Octopath Traveler II. Still with the striking HD-2D graphics of the first game, the sequel takes what its predecessor did and builds on it, creating a unique gaming experience which will leave you wanting more. It’s a completely standalone game as well, so there’s no need to power through the first title.

Read my full review at Push Square. 


Winter 2023: Anime Preview


At the tail end of 2022, I really enjoyed keeping up with SPYxFAMILY and Chainsaw Man as it aired. I’ve got a love/hate relationship with watching seasonal shows, as I have a tendency to take on too many that I then can’t keep up, and I can’t manage to binge anything alongside.

You’d think that I would learn from that, but no. I haven’t, and there was just so many shows that looked really cool, so I couldn’t resist!

I’ve watched at least the first episode of each of these shows, and they’re making up my Winter 2023 roster. Here are my initial thoughts!

Tokyo Revengers Season 2

Tokyo Revengers has fast become one of my favourite anime. I love the whole concept of it, from the time travel to the gang wars, and the characters are really fun and well-written. I’m so happy we haven’t had to wait long for Tokyo Revengers season 2, and even more happy that things just jump straight into the action. There’s no recapping, no rehashing of the story, it’s just straight on with things. I’m so excited to see where the story goes this season, it seems like it’s going to be an eventful one!


Buddy Daddies

I’ve seen Buddy Daddies hailed on Twitter as ‘the gay SPYxFAMILY’, and whilst there are similarities, it’s a lot more than that. The two protagonists, Kazuki and Rei, are roommates who are the antithesis of each other. Whilst Kazuki is warm and outgoing, Rei is an introvert, preferring the company of cats and games than real people. It’s a really interesting dynamic, that though outplayed has a fresh perspective in Buddy Daddies as Kazuki and Rei are contract killers, working together as a duo to take out their hits. In this first episode, we see Kazuki and Rei taking out a contract who is a mafia boss specialising in human trafficking. Whilst on the job, Kazuki meets Miri, a little girl who is searching for her father, who is… you guessed it, the mafia boss he is there to kill. After taking out the hit, Kazuki tells Miri he is her father, setting up the whole series for a really cute family dynamic. I’m really excited to see where Buddy Daddies goes and how the trio develop.

buddy daddies

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel – Northern War

As a massive fan of the Legend of Heroes games, I was really excited for this anime this season. I wouldn’t say I’m let down, necessarily, but I may have overhyped it in my mind because of my love for the games. Giving an alternative perspective to the conflict seen in the games, the premise of the show is an interesting one. Whilst the story feels quite compelling on first watch, and I’m interested to see where it goes, the show itself feels let down by the animation. Scenes feel a bit choppy, and some characters are given better treatment than others which is indicative of how important they are in terms of the show but it means that it lacks cohesion as a result. I’ll still keep watching due to my love of the Legends of Heroes series as a whole, but it won’t be the show I rush to watch every week.


The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague

This is probably the show I’m least excited about at the moment. The concept seems really cool – the descendant of a yokai is an office worker, and when he gets emotional he loses control of his ice-powers. There’s also a normal human love interest, and what seems like a pretty colourful supporting cast. My worry is, as with all slice-of-life anime, that not a lot will happen and it’s just going to feel a bit flat, but I’ll give it a chance and see how it goes!

ice guy

Bungo Stray Dogs Season 4

Another returning show this season, and I’m so excited to have Bungo Stray Dogs back. It really is one of my favourite shows, and imagine my shock, my joy, my excitement when the main focus of the season seems to be my (second) best boy Rampo-san. I was worried I had forgotten everything that happened in the prior season of Bungo Stray Dogs before I started watching, but it seems like it doesn’t really matter at the moment due to the season starting in the past. I can’t wait to learn more about Rampo-san, and hopefully remember things about the last season.


Well, that’s all I’m watching this season, along with continuing Blue Lock and IDOLiSH7, and trying to binge a few things. What are you watching this season? Anything you’d recommend?

2023 challenges

2023 Challenges: The Beginning

2022 wasn’t a great year for me and the challenges. I set my goals way too high, with too many categories and then achieved not a lot. It’s always disheartening when you don’t reach your goals, even if they’re non-consequential like these challenges are, but even so it’s meant to be fun! I don’t want to be here writing every month that I didn’t get anything done!

That being said, for 2023 I’m going to change it up and do quarterly updates. I’ve never been great at monthly updates, I don’t think a year has gone by since I started doing the challenges where I’ve managed to stick to it, so I think quarterly will be a great change and will allow me to focus on writing other content for the blog – something I threaten every year, but which hasn’t quite materialised yet.

So, with this in mind, let’s see what I’ve decided to focus on this year.

Watch 25 anime
This is the prime candidate for things I overpromise on. I’m not sure I’ve ever hit an anime watching target. 25 seems quite reasonable – 2 shows a month brings me to 24, but 24 seemed like a weird total so I rounded it up. I think this is doable, but I’ve said that before and been very wrong, so we’ll see.

Watch 25 anime movies
Same logic as before, this works out at around 2 movies per month. I can do that, that’s easy. Right?

Watch 30 films
It’s easier to watch a non-subtitled film than a subtitled one, hence the increase in total numbers for this one. Just under 3 a month. Maybe I’ll start a Friday film night.

Clear 15 games from the PlayStation backlog
I joked recently that I don’t play games, I collect them, but there’s probably more truth in that statement than I’d like. I really want to focus on clearing down my backlog. I have so many games I’ve heard are fantastic, but they’re sitting on my (digital and physical) shelf unplayed. If anything, it’s a waste of money, so it’s time to change this! I’m including PS Vita, PS4 and PS5 for this challenge, so 15 should be a doddle.

Clear 12 games from the Switch backlog
Generally, I don’t play my Switch as often as my PlayStation, but I want to change that. 12 games seems reasonable – one a month!

Get 12 platinum trophies
At my core I think I’ll always be a trophy hunter to some extent. Whilst I’ve given up on shovelware games, I don’t want to abandon it altogether. My focus on clearing my backlogs means I’ll have less time for trophy hunting but I’m certain there’ll be some crossover, so I’ve set the target at a pretty conservative 1 platinum a month.

Read 20 manga series
Another thing I always buy and never consume – manga. I have a Shonen Jump app subscription, going wasted. I want to read 20 complete series this year. I’ll probably start some ongoing series, but they won’t count for this target unless it’s a complete series!

Read 12 books
I think I said in my 2022 wrap-up that I want to set myself some better reading habits by reading a little before bed each night. With my wanting to also read manga more frequently, I’m not stupid enough to think I’ll do a tonne of ‘normal’ reading on top of that, so I think 1 book a month sounds decent.

I think this seems like a reasonable goal for all of these challenges. I have a lot of personal goals I want to work on as well, so I think these relatively low numbers will leave me time to ficus on them, and there’s enough variety in the topics that I won’t get bored in trying to achieve them as a collective. What do you think about my 2023 challenges? As always, follow me on Twitter and see my progress on the hashtag #cs2023challenges.

2022 challenges

2022 Challenges: End of Year Recap


I sure fell off the challenge update wagon for a bit there. I haven’t done a progress update since July, so that must definitely mean that all of my numbers are going to jump up for the end of year recap, right?! Well… not exactly.

Platinum 15 games

2022 end total: 10

Focusing less on shovelware games in 2022 and more on games I actually wanted to play meant that I didn’t quite hit my goal for platinum games. I’m not even mad about it. I played some really fun games this year, and went back and cleared up some games I’d started but not 100% completed, as well as some games I’d bought a long time ago but hadn’t even started.

Here’s my list of platinum trophies for 2022:

  1. Doraemon Story of Seasons
  2. Cozy Grove
  3. When The Past Was Around
  4. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
  5. Potion Permit
  6. Persona 4 Golden
  7. Goosebumps: The Game
  8. Wytchwood
  9. Buried Stars
  10. The Artful Escape

Get the platinum in Persona 4 Golden

As you can see above, I finally did it! I got the Persona 4 Golden platinum! It took me a really long time, and I didn’t do it in the most straightforward way possible, but I got there in the end which is the most important thing. It’s definitely still one of my most favourite games, if not coming out at the top of that list. I’m ready for the console version to come out at the end of January, and I’ve definitely got a roadmap in mind to getting the platinum more quickly than I did the Vita version!

Watch 30 anime

2022 end total: 10

A really poor effort for me and anime this year. I promise I am an anime fan, don’t take my figures away! I seem to have a problem where I’ll sit down and promise myself I’m going to watch something and then before I know it, it’s three hours later and I’ve done nothing (see also: physical Switch backlog). It’s something I really want to work on for 2023, because I just want to be productive, you know? I didn’t finish my first anime series until March and the next one wasn’t until May, what’s that about? Things have to, and will, change! Mark my words!

That being said, here’s what I watch this year:

  1. Blue Period
  2. Tokyo Revengers
  3. My Dress Up Darling
  4. Sasaki and Miyano
  5. IDOLiSH7 Third Beat!
  6. SPY x FAMILY, part 1
  7. Dakaichi! -I’m Being Harrassed By The Sexiest Man Of The Year-
  8. Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War s01
  9. Demon Slayer: Entertainment District Arc
  10. SPY x FAMILY, part 2 (cheating perhaps to include both parts of a split cour as separate shows, but desperate times and all that)

Watch 30 films

2022 end total: 17

I used to watch so many films that it wasn’t unheard of for me to go to the cinema and watch 4 films in a day. Those were the days I had an Unlimited pass, of course, which I don’t any more. I do miss going to the cinema, but my nearest decent one is 30 minutes away which seems like a real effort. I know in the days of streaming I have an unlimited catalogue at my fingertips, but even so, I struggle to watch a film. There’s perhaps too much choice? I’m not sure what the reason is. This is all a really long way of saying I didn’t watch 30 films, I only just hit a little over the halfway mark.

Here’s what I did manage to watch:

  1. The Lonely Island Presents: The Unauthorised Bash Brothers Experience
  2. Afterlife of the Party
  3. The Mitchells vs The Machines
  4. The Tinder Swindler
  5. The Duke
  6. Three Identical Strangers
  7. Turning Red
  8. Tell Me Who I Am
  9. Joker
  10. Senior Year
  11. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
  12. Murder Mystery
  13. Thor: Love and Thunder
  14. Do Revenge
  15. Ticket To Paradise
  16. Disenchanted
  17. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Watch 30 anime films

2022 end total: 2

This is honestly abysmal, and not even deserving of a proper list. I watched The Garden of Words and Jujutsu Kaisen 0. I don’t even know what happened here, apart from a whole lot of nothing.

Read 18 books

2022 end total: 9

I got halfway there, which isn’t awful but it’s certainly not great. I was so confident in my reading challenges that I bought myself a Kindle towards the beginning of the year, and I’m pretty sure I still have an Unlimited account for Amazon Books which is honestly a huge waste at this point. I want to start getting into better reading habits and reading a few chapters of something every night before bed, so we’ll see how that goes.

Here’s what I read in 2022:

  1. The House in the Cerulean Sea
  2. A Medal for Leroy
  3. The Vanishing Stair
  4. The Hand on the Wall
  5. The Awakening
  6. Ruthless Fae
  7. They Both Die At The End
  8. Hector And The Search For Happiness
  9. Wranglestone

Clear physical Switch and Vita backlogs

I absolutely did not even get anywhere close to this.

Game Reviews, Games

Review: I Was A Teenage Exocolonist


Your teenage years are undoubtedly some of the hardest years of your life. Raging hormones, school, navigating romance for the first time, aliens threatening to destroy your home and family… Now, imagine all of that in a timeloop that you’re destined to repeat over and over, and you have I Was A Teenage Exocolonist.


Read my full review at Push Square.


Anime August: The Plan


The third year of Anime August means I can call this a regular feature, right? Looking back over my previous years, I have a habit of being overly ambitious with how much anime I’m going to watch over the month – much like my targets for the yearly challenges, maybe I need a big dose of realism next year?

This year I’m going to pick 10 series and 10 movies to watch and work my way through the lists, I think that will be manageable. As always, I’m going to say I’m going to review the things I’ve watched, but will I? Who knows.

Here are my lists!


  • IDOLiSH7 Third Beat!
  • Kaguya-Sama Love Is War (first season)
  • Run With The Wind
  • Bartender
  • Made In Abyss
  • O Maidens  In Your Savage Season
  • My Love Story
  • DAKAICHI – I’m Being Harassed By The Sexiest Man Of The Year
  • WAVE!! – Let’s Go Surfing!!


  • Only Yesterday
  • In This Corner Of The World
  • Penguin Highway
  • The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
  • Ni No Kuni
  • Bubble
  • Violet Evergarden: Eternity and The Auto Memory Doll
  • The Tatami Galaxy
  • Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
  • Lu Over The Wall

I think these lists feel quite varied, and I’m looking forward to cracking on!

2022 challenges

2022 Challenges: July Recap


Somehow I missed the June update, so you’d think there’d be a lot of progress to report on, right? Wrong.

Platinum 15 games

July end total: 4

In the last couple of months I’ve got the platinum in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and When The Past Was Around. Both very different games but both very fun and worth playing. I feel like this total is a bit light for the challenges but I’m avoiding the ‘easy platinum’ games and trying to focus on stuff I actually want to play. I think I’ll make at least double digits this year, I have a few games I’ve started and I want to clean up on as well as stuff in the backlog.

Get the platinum in Persona 4 Golden

So, I didn’t do this in July as previously planned but now the PS4/PS5 release is scheduled for the end of the year I want to get it done before that comes out so I’m going to aim to do an in-game month every couple of days.

Watch 30 anime

July end total: 4

In June I watched Sasaki and Miyano, which I really loved. I didn’t want anything in July but August is just around the corner so I’m hoping my numbers will boost!

Watch 30 films

July end total: 14

I added Thor: Love and Thunder and Murder Mystery to my totals across the June and July. I really enjoyed Thor, though perhaps I might be the only person in the world who did. Murder Mystery was fine.

Watch 30 anime films

July end total: 2

Man, just awful here. Hoping to boost this in Anime August!

Read 18 books

July end total: 9

Finally managed to read Wranglestone, which I’ve been reading since March so hopefully now I can move onto things that don’t take me 4 months to read.

Clear physical Switch and Vita backlogs

Um… Does buying more games and adding to the backlog count? No? Oh…